An Experiment with Sound

Usually at work I’ll have my headphones on, and I’ll be listening to some wonderful podcast. You know, like Words With Nerds™, Commentary: Trek Stars, or The 602 Club. But, admittedly, that’s for when I can listen to other voices and do some task that doesn’t require quite the same amount of focus as my more in-depth tinkering.

When I need focus, typically I, like most people, turn to music. Something from a soundtrack I love, or even something from my beloved Doors. I’ve always felt its help making me focus.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy understood the importance of nature.
Kirk, Spock and McCoy understood the importance of nature.

Then I saw an article stating that listening to “nature sounds” is even better for your focus and mood. Something to do with the idea that if your brain can listen to what it would be like if you were out walking in the woods, as opposed to sitting on your ass working on something that’s a manufactured need,  you’d feel more at peace and able to concentrate.

So for the last week I tried exactly that. I downloaded an app that plays nothing but natural sounds and white noise. Yes, I get the irony in that. Stay with me.

While anecdotal at best, I can confirm that my creative drive has actually strengthened while at my desk. My memory has been much stronger about tasks upcoming and just past. My output has been, amazingly enough, higher than typical. I know that sounds boastful, but I tend to knock out a lot of work in limited time, and I’ve been slaying even more dragons.

I’ve found that I’m also able to focus more on the task at hand and am less prone to distraction.

All other variables, whether sleep food or exercise, has remained constant. My interactions at work have remained normal and steady.

So I recommend you give it a try and see what happens. I buy into the idea that all these distractions we create, and these artificial lives we lead, leave a big hole in our subconscious that’s yearning to connect again with nature. These sounds seem to to speak to that.

If you try it, let me know if it works for you too.


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